What did you watch this week in classic TV on DVD(or Blu)?

JohnHopper

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Adam Adamant Lives! is a really fun show. Gerald Harper is spot on as Adamant, the proper Edwardian gentleman at all times, especially with the ladies. Love how he has no compunction in dispatching the baddies, either (though he always gives them plenty of chances to save their skin before running them through with his sword cane or throwing them off high buildings, etc.) Juliet Harmer adds to the fun, and is one nice lookin' gal, too!

Glad you managed to track down a copy of the OOP DVD set, Glenn!



Find a chap that reviews the pilot episode:


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BobO'Link

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Episode Commentary
The Flintstones
"Boss For A Day" (S6E21)

...he calls upon the Great Gazoo--a shark jumping element of the series' last season featuring a small green alien sent to earth to do good deeds....
Even as a young lad I thought this character was for the birds and stopped watching the series the episode after he/it first appeared. To this day, those seasons of the DVDs are still in shrink wrap. This in spite of my 10yo granddaughter loving the series and very much wanting to see them all.
 

bmasters9

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Even as a young lad I thought this character was for the birds and stopped watching the series the episode after he/it first appeared. To this day, those seasons of the DVDs are still in shrink wrap. This in spite of my 10yo granddaughter loving the series and very much wanting to see them all.
I take it you don't want your granddaughter seeing a Flintstones character you personally disliked.
 
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Rustifer

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Even as a young lad I thought this character was for the birds and stopped watching the series the episode after he/it first appeared.
Heck, long before the stupidity of Gazoo showing up, I was struggling with a family having a dinosaur (Dino) for a house pet. I figured the thing must smell worse than urine after a healthy helping of asparagus...
 

Rustifer

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RAWHIDE SEASON 8

Episode #1

“Encounter at Boot Hill”
written by Anthony Spinner
directed by Sutton Roley
music composed and conducted by Bernard Herrmann
guests: Simon Oakland, Jeff Corey, Peter Haskell, Timothy Carey, Malcolm Atterbury, Dal Jenkins (uncredited)

In a clearing, Morgan Kane (actor Jeff Corey), a father avenges the death of his son Vance and asks his other son—limping Jethroe (actor Peter Haskell)—to prepare the hanging of two innocent drovers when two riders of Yates’ outfit come charging straight at the executioner. Later on, Yates, Quince and Blake find the dead body of drover Peters and wounded drover Ian Cabot that they bring to the town of Regis where Sheriff Blaine (actor Simon Oakland) and his sleazy deputy Ed Walker (actor Timothy Carey) rule as despots. Against the will of the local authorities (the barber working as the judge, the sheriff working as the minister and the deputy), Yates insists to organize a fair trial at Wichita.

It’s a twisted family drama that highlights justice’s corruption and integrates a courtroom scene and a veiled reference to William Wellman’s 1943 lynching film The Ox-Bow Incident. Find an excellent film-making by magician Sutton Roley—see the hanging prologue or Yates fighting the deputy, the off-centered extreme close-ups—helped by a good guest cast (actors Simon Oakland, Jeff Corey, Peter Haskell, Timothy Carey) and a fine score by the legendary Bernard Herrmann (see his cinema output with Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock and his television output on The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour).

Director Sutton Roley used to be the best journeyman of the 1960’s business and his finest work lies in three series: Combat!, Mission: Impossible and Mannix. It introduces the character of English drover Ian Cabot (actor David Watson). Oddly enough, no explanation is provided when it comes to the departures of two previous characters (Gil Favor and Mushy). The series is a bit hip and at odds with the initial 1959 formula because of an English actor and a black supporting cast.

Actor Simon Oakland returns from the season 6 “Incident of the Travellin’ Man” and actor Timothy Carey from the season 7 “The Book” and actor Malcolm Atterbury from the season 7 “The Book”.

Both actors Dal Jenkins (see “Nicole” and “The Falcon”) and Peter Haskell (see “Tod-5”) will guest in Mission: Impossible.

The Ox-Bow Incident Trailer
Nice review, John. It reminds me to catch more Rawhide episodes.
 

Jeff Flugel

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Doctor Who – 14.6 “The Talons of Weng-Chiang”
In many ways, this is the neo plus ultra of classic Doctor Who, frequently making all-time Top Ten lists, despite some non-P.C. elements that might raise a few hackles for today's audiences. A fabulous genre blending of sci-fi, Sherlock Holmes, Fu Manchu, Jack the Ripper, and - with its disfigured masked villain, The Phantom of the Opera - this six-part serial is lavishly produced by ‘70s BBC standards, with bags of foggy nighttime Limehouse atmosphere (several scenes filmed at Wapping Docks in London), an excellent supporting cast given plenty of choice dialogue, and Tom Baker at his most magisterial. Guest stars Christopher Benjamin (as theater impresario Henry Gordon Jago) and Trevor Baxter (as Professor Litefoot) made such an impression on the show’s fans that they eventually earned their own (wonderful) spin-off series of Big Finish radio plays, which ran to 13 series up until Baxter’s death in 2017. Louise Jameson continues to shine as violent yet intelligent “savage” Leela, here ditching her sexy skins for Victorian garb. (Eagle-eyed viewers will get an eyeful of Louise Jameson, clad in wet, clingy bloomers, in the scene after her narrow escape from a giant rat in the sewers). Beautifully restored in HD on the recently-released Season 14 set, and loaded with extra features (two discs worth)...this is what I call full-on proper Doctor Who right here. Highly recommended.




The A-Team - 1.5 “Black Day at Bad Rock”
Fun title, and a fun episode. After an (offscreen) firefight, B.A. (Mr. T) has been shot in the leg and is bleeding bad. Hannibal (George Peppard) and Face (Dirk Benedict) take the injured B.A. to a doctor’s office in the tiny hamlet of Bad Rock, and call the only person who’s a matching blood donor: "Howling Mad" Murdoch (Dwight Schultz), who promptly breaks out of the loony bin and races down to help. Needless to say, B.A. does not want any part of this: "I ain't swappin' blood with that sucker, he's crazy!"

A hiccup in their plans occurs when the cute doctor (Tricia O’Neil) gets suspicious and reports them to the local sheriff (Ed Lauter), who locks Hannibal and Face up and informs the military police. The leader of a biker gang (Sid Haig) is in the next cell, bragging about how the rest of his bros are going to roll up on their hogs and tear the town down to break him out. Of course, escaping from a rinky dink jail cell is no biggie for master escapologist Hannibal, and soon our boys are free. But they can’t in good conscience abandon the sheriff and his town to rampaging bikers. Cue the usual montage of our heroes MacGyvering up an ingenious series of defenses and booby traps. This show ain’t deep, but damn if it ain’t entertaining...and the dynamic between the four leads (and temporary gal pal for a season and a half, Amy, played by Melinda Cullea) always raises a smile.




Mannix – 1.24 “The Girl in the Frame”
Typically lively Mannix episode finds ol’ ironhead Joe hired by an art collector (William Windom) to track down a woman (Leslie Parrish) who he sees posing for a sculptor. The woman is the spitting image of the subject in a Renior painting he recently bought. This leads Mannix into the dodgy world of art forgery and murder. Mannix gets the requisite per episode clobbering over the head, not to mention a gunshot to the arm…but he also executes a super cool drop kick to disarm one of the bad guys during the climax. I really like these first season episodes where Joe badmouths Intertec’s computers and banters with his boss Lew Wickersham (Joseph Campanella). Also with Paul Mantee, Michael Pataki, Oscar Beregi, Sivi Aberg (in a saucy scene as a nude artist’s model – yowsa!) and an uncredited bit by the ubiquitous Dabs Greer.


Leslie Parrish

Sivi Aberg


The Ren & Stimpy Show
1.6 “Black Hole” / “Stimpy’s Invention”
2.2 “Ren’s Toothache” / “Big House Blues”
2.3 “Out West” / “Rubber Nipple Salesmen”
During one of my periodic treks down the YouTube rabbit hole, I came upon a clip from this ‘90s cult animated series. This caused me to dig out my old 3-disc Time-Life DVD “Best of” set which includes most of the highlights from the first two seasons, when crazed genius creator of the series, John Kricfalusi, still was in charge. While likely appealing to kids due to their anarchic, violent nature, these cartoons, featuring the misadventures of angry chihuahua Ren and his cheerfully dumb cat pal Stimpy, contain elements that are decidedly NOT kid friendly. Full of weird, surreal touches, gross out gags (seriously, “Ren’s Toothache” has some of the most disgusting body horror elements ever to grace a cartoon) and sly sexual innuendo, they are also not to everyone’s taste. But I found them hilarious, strange - and strangely hilarious - back in the early ‘90s, and still do today. The later seasons after John K. walked away from the show after one too many clashes with the executives at Nickelodeon are inferior in most fans’ opinion.

 
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Rustifer

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While likely appealing to kids due to their anarchic, violent nature, these cartoons, featuring the misadventures of angry chihuahua Ren and his cheerfully dumb cat pal Stimpy, contain elements that are decidedly NOT kid friendly. Full of weird, surreal touches, gross out gags (seriously, “Ren’s Toothache” has some of the most disgusting body horror elements ever to grace a cartoon) and sly sexual innuendo, they are also not to everyone’s taste. But I found them hilarious, strange - and strangely hilarious
Yeah, wasn't that series great?! A fitting antidote to the sugary sweet cartoons structured for a politically correct audience fearful that their kids could actually be susceptible to crazy antics of furry creatures and thus grow up to be serial killers.
 
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JohnHopper

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Adam Adamant Lives! is a really fun show. Gerald Harper is spot on as Adamant, the proper Edwardian gentleman at all times, especially with the ladies. Love how he has no compunction in dispatching the baddies, either (though he always gives them plenty of chances to save their skin before running them through with his sword cane or throwing them off high buildings, etc.) Juliet Harmer adds to the fun, and is one nice lookin' gal, too!

Glad you managed to track down a copy of the OOP DVD set, Glenn!


If you want to see more Juliet Harmer, take a look at an episode of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased):
“You Can Always Find a Fall Guy” in which she has an intriguing dual part.
 

Rustifer

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Episode Commentary
The Rifleman
"Lariat" (S2E29)

In this episode, one of Lucas' BFFs comes to North Fork to set up a fancy-schmancy casino. What self-respecting entrepreneur wouldn't want to take advantage of opening such an establishment in a bohunk town of about 25 people? Lucas is nearly giddy with boyish excitement at seeing his buddy Lariat Jones (Richard Anderson), especially after Lariat pulls off a neat trick of shooting a hole through a poker cheater's ace-in-the-sleeve card. Lucas and Lariat collapse in girlish giggles as the card sharp quickly skedaddles the saloon in shame and remorse.

Dinner at the McCain house that evening includes, besides pig chitlins 'n gravy, some nifty card tricks Lariat shows to an enthralled Mark (Johnny Crawford). "Mark, the only true way to win at poker is the fair way," intones Lariat--despite the fact that honest card sharps are about as rare as face masks at a Trump rally. To illustrate his point, Lariat hooks up with a couple of sketchy partners--but firmly declaring his insistence that the casino plays straight with its customers. The partners (Steve Conte, George Mcready) assure the gullible Lariat of their compliance.
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You can't play poker without clenching a cigar in your mouth; Lucas works out a private deal; I raise you ten jellybeans...

The Silver Dice Saloon initially does play it straight, but begins to lose money faster than houseguests in an Agatha Christie novel. When an unarmed patron is shot by one of the partners, Lucas' loyalty to Lariat begins to wane. Sheriff Micah (Paul Fix) is also suspicious that the saloon may be turning crooked and fears the worse when the weekend cow folk come to town with their pockets loaded with cattle sale money. Despite Lariat's insistence that the casino play nice, his partners can't resist fleecing the customers within an inch of their leather chaps. Honest Lariat is coerced at gunpoint to go along with the illegal activities. But a secret signal from Lariat to Lucas soon has the crooked partners readily aerated with bullets from Lucas' Winchester. It's just fun to shoot bad guys.

In the end, Lariat pulls up stakes to move to the nearby town of Lakeview. When it's time to reset one's poker reputation, it's best to move to where the sitting ducks congregate.

Menial Notes:
In the opening credits, Lucas peels off twelve shots. That caliber of rifle generally only holds 10 rounds, but his tricked-out version uses shorter ammo thus making room for two more bullets. Feel free to spring that fact at your next class reunion.

In the early 1970s, Johnny Crawford dated Sharon Tate's younger sister, Debra:

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I'm slightly embarrassed to admit I remember the lyrics to two of Johnny's 1962 pop hits "Cindy's Birthday" and "Your Nose Is Gonna Grow". Ghastly songs.
 
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Rustifer

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Sivi Aberg (in a saucy scene as a nude artist’s model – yowsa!)
Sivi was a member of "Operation Entertainment Girls" along with Eileen O'Neill (Burke's Law), beguiling troops aboard aircraft carriers in the late 1960's. But perhaps Sivi's greatest role was spokesperson for the Chinese Express Take-Out in Van Nuys.
Chicken Chow Mein with two egg rolls, please. Hold the soy.

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Sivi, Eileen and one other stunner
 
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Purple Wig

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Alan
Didn’t do it on purpose, but found myself watching An Ozzie & Harriet Christmas on Kent McCord’s 78th birthday today. A 1981 special, it drifted into my YT feed this morning after falling asleep to a string of Pete & Gladys. It has more new material than many retrospectives, with appearances by Harriet, David, and Don Nelson, McCord, James Stacy, Parley Baer, Don Defore, Mary Jane Croft, Lyle Talbot, and others and although they are appearing as themselves rather than their characters it plays quite a bit like one would imagine a 1981 episode of Ozzie & Harriet to be. David and Kent still sport cardigans they might have been seen in on the show. Defore’s suit looks like it might be from 50’s.
Also watched a few episodes of a 1992 sitcom I’d never heard of, The Powers That Be starring John Forsythe as a senator. An episode with Tiffani Thiessen as an intern taken with the silver haired statesman was pretty funny.
 

MatthewA

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Yeah, wasn't that series great?! A fitting antidote to the sugary sweet cartoons structured for a politically correct audience fearful that their kids could actually be susceptible to crazy antics of furry creatures and thus grow up to be serial killers.
Then by that logic, I guess it's good Charles Manson was already an adolescent by the time TV became widespread because who knows how much more damage he could have done otherwise.
 

Flashgear

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In late July I watched the launch of NASA / JPL's latest mission to Mars, the rover Perseverance with the helicopter drone Ingenuity, which got off perfectly on the very first opportunity in this year's launch window, if everything goes according to plan for a landing on February 18, 2021...the rocket booster used was the Atlas 5-Centaur (Centaur rocket being the second stage)...the Atlas series of rocketry goes back to it's initial launch failures in 1957, as witnessed in popular TV culture by Steve Canyon himself in episode 8, Operation Moby Dick (Nov. 8, 1958)...the Atlas was America's first large ICBM, designed to deliver a Megaton yield H-bomb, but also used to put America's first astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962...like America's other rockets of this era, Atlas (built by Convair division of General Dynamics), went through a torturous series of launch failures before achieving success...the Atlas was too big to be transported by the Globemaster transport aircraft, and thus had to be driven cross-country by tractor-trailer from the Convair plant in San Diego to Cape Canaveral Florida...a 9 day, 2600 mile journey under armed guard...Steve Canyon, being the jack-of-all-trades in the Air Force, get's orders to got to San Diego to personally supervise the transcontinental transport of the first Atlas...at the Convair plant, Steve meets the project scientist (Barry Atwater), an obsessive workaholic who's life mission is tied up into this bird actually flying, and the specialist driver (Karl Lukas)...their journey will include squeezing under a railroad bridge, clearing it by inches just before a heavy freight train comes barreling over top...a situation contrived for dramatic effect, as I can't imagine a convoy of the greatest national security import to have had such unexpected perils...the episode does have some actual newsreel footage of the actual missile convoy in action...Convair were masters of P.R. in getting the Atlas into various prime-time shows like Route 66 (season one's Don't Count Stars, where Tod and Buzz go to work in the San Diego missile plant), Perry Mason (season four's The Case of the Misguided Missile with Mason solving a murder at Vandenburg AFB) and 77 Sunset Strip (season three's The Space Caper)...once they get to Cape Canaveral, this episode features an involved and fascinating sequence depicting the nerve wracking pressurization of the Atlas with it's LOX (liquid oxygen at -300F) and Hydrazine, a ticking time bomb as it sits on the launch pad in the pressure-packed, high stakes gamble for America to have a horse in the space race...no one knew it at the time (June 1957), but the Soviet Union was far ahead in having a heavy-lift rocket, which would become shockingly evident in October with the successful orbiting of Sputnik 1 ...my screen caps from the magnificent DVDs...

Canyon (Dean Fredericks) flies his F-102 Delta Dagger to San Diego...
Canyon 3.JPG


Where he meets the Atlas, the project scientist (Barry Atwater) and big-rig driver (Karl Lukas)...
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A multi-million dollar rocket of the highest national security priority, and no one checked the bridge clearance beforehand? Wow, ha, ha...but Steve will make sure she squeezes through without a scrape...
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A sleepless night beforehand...any one of the Atlas' 40,000 working parts might fail in launching the 243,000 pound 'Moby Dick'...
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The Atlas, now fully pressurized with ultra-cold liquid oxygen, now groans and whines as it's fuselage contracts due to thermal stresses...it literally 'sings' as it does so...eerie...
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Canyon sits next to the range safety officer/launch commander...if anything goes wrong, he must quickly press the 'destruct' button firing explosives to destroy the rocket before it might fall on the sunbathers of Coco Beach...
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Go Baby Go!
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And...KaBlam!
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"A missile is just like a woman...when you lose one, you just go get another!" (another launch failure would be needed before Atlas finally proved successful in December 1957)
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Terrific and stirring music throughout this series, a fascinating time capsule of aviation's golden age...
Canyon 50.JPG


I will always associate Barry Atwater with his memorable role as the scientist-turned-zombie in the very scary Outer Limits episode, Corpus Earthling...
 
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